Behind The Beat | Doctor P Interview
Though only diehard dubstep fans may know who Shaun Brockhurst is, mention his stage name Doctor P, and the ears of electronic music fans of all different genres will perk up. Doctor P is a legendary producer and DJ with tunes like “Sweet Shop,” “Watch Out,” and “Big Boss,” that are guaranteed to make crowds go crazy with every drop.
Besides producing music that has gained him a heavy following in the United Kingdom and America, Brockhurst is a co-founder of Circus Records, a label that is home to dubstep hard-hitters like Flux Pavilion, Cookie Monsta, and FuntCase.
We were able to meet with Doctor P hours after he touched down from his UK flight, right before his show on June 19 at Foundation Nightclub. For Doctor P’s insights on balancing tour and home life, what to expect next from Circus, and even the Flying Spaghetti Monster, read on- and be sure to take a listen to his newest single, “The Champagne Böp,” out now on Beatport.
OTB: Welcome to Seattle! We’re so excited to have you here. I understand you recently got a new addition to the Brockhurst household. How do you balance life at home with life on tour?
Doctor P: It’s kind of like living a double life. Half the time I’m looking after the kid and stuff and half the time I’m doing this. It’s so different. I don’t know, it’s difficult but it kind of just happens- there’s nothing I do to make it happen, it just happens. [Touring] cuts a lot into my free time. You see, “this is when you go home,” and you do.
OTB: Looking to the next year, what do Doctor P fans have to look forward to?
Doctor P: I’m working on an EP, so eight tracks. My first single is released the 24th of June. With the label, we’re just putting stuff out. I’m not so involved in the label now, I’m busy with all of this. With the label we’re just putting out tracks we like.
OTB: When you’re out DJing and look out to the crowd, what makes you the happiest?
Doctor P: There’s usually that one guy that I end up focusing on, he’ll usually be in the front somewhere. There’s always one guy- or girl, though, that catches my attention. I don’t know, I usually just end up looking to that person, see how they reacted. They probably don’t know that that’s happening, though. I remember a guy a few weeks ago at one of my shows that was going absolutely mental at every drop, he was just making me laugh. So I ended up playing to make him go more mental, it was so funny. If you’re about three rows back I can’t see you, but the first three rows, yeah. I really play to the first three rows and the rest is just ants.
OTB: If you could spin a set anywhere in the world with no restrictions, where would you do it?
Doctor P: The thing I wanted to do was Red Rocks [Amphitheater], which I got to do last year. That was my thing that I really wanted to do. It was insane, I can’t even explain it. It’s so windy, that’s all I can remember, it was crazy.
OTB: Do you have people you go to as springboards for your music, who can give you good feedback on what you’re going to put out?
Doctor P: My manager has always been there. We’ve got exactly the same taste so if I’m not sure about something then I’ll send it to him and if he says yes then I’m like “Ah, yes, this must be right.” I’ve got friends that tell me everything I do is amazing, so I don’t even listen to them anymore- it’s not helpful.
OTB: What does a Flying Spaghetti Monster look like?
Doctor P: It’s like a thing- I’ve got a picture on my phone of one someone made me. They made it out of spaghetti, let’s see if I can find it. We got backstage and they had made it for me.
OTB: If you had to describe your fans in three words, what words would you use?
Doctor P: Obsessive- they’re definitely obsessive. They’re really into it, I’m not sure what word to use to describe it, but they care. And young- definitely young. I don’t think anyone over 25 likes my music. It’s definitely a young person thing.
OTB: What festivals are you always excited to play at?
Doctor P: EDC is always fun, I’m doing Vegas this weekend. Obviously the fact that it’s in Vegas even makes it more surreal, you’re just in Vegas the whole time.
OTB: When you’re at events like EDC are you usually too busy going in and out or are you able to relax and watch a couple acts?
Doctor P: You usually just get caught up in conversation most of the time. You’re on the way to see an act and you see someone you know along the way. Next thing you know you’re having a conversation with them for an hour and the more you drink the more that happens. I mean, I went to Coachella and didn’t see anybody. I was there the whole weekend both weekends and didn’t see any acts. I was behind the stage the whole time.
OTB: Do you feel like the electronic dance scene is kind of a small world where you tend to run into the same people a lot?
Doctor P: Yeah, all the events you go to, you realize it’s the same people every time. Even working there, I’ve bumped into the same security guard every time, it’s really weird. It’s just like any industry but it’s weird because everyone’s like weirdly famous.
OTB: What kind of advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
Doctor P: Don’t be a DJ, you won’t get anywhere. Producers are where it is. Nowadays, no one seems to care about DJs. A DJ now is just pressing play on your tracks that you’ve spent hours working on. Just make music, and make the music you want to make, don’t make the music you think people want you to make.
OTB: Where do you see Circus Records going at this point?
Doctor P: All we ever wanted was to put the music out that we wanted and pay the artists. That was our main goal, because no one ever pays the artists, it’s unbelievable. Everyone always ends up screwing over the artists and we were like “Let’s start a label where we actually pay everybody what they’re owed,” and that was unheard of.
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